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Garlic has been used as both food and medicine in many cultures around the world for thousands of years.
About – Garlic is a species of the lily family and a relative of the shallot, onion, leek and chive. The garlic bulb is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves and has a characteristic pungent, spicy flavor. There are several varieties of garlic available. The well-known elephant garlic is not garlic at all but a wild leek and there is also a single clove garlic, called Pearl garlic. Garlic comes to the consumer in many ways: fresh, frozen, dried, powdered, in tubes and jars and fermented, called Black garlic.

Nutrition – Garlic contains vitamins B1, B6 and C as well as the minerals phosphorus, selenium, calcium, potassium, and copper. However, it is the sulfur compounds in garlic that are perhaps its most unique nutrients. These include thiosulfinates, sulfoxides, and dithiins, which are responsible for garlic’s pungent odor but also the source of many of its health-promoting effects. Virtually all of these sulfur molecules have been shown to function as antioxidants, protect against oxidative damage and many provide anti-inflammatory benefits. Garlic’s sulfides, specifically allicin, and its polysulfides have been shown to have the ability to dilate our blood vessels helping to keep our blood pressure under control. Foods rich in sulfur may be especially important for our health. Garlics ajoene has repeatedly been shown to have anti-clotting properties and prevents our blood platelets from becoming too sticky.  Garlic has a moderate ability to lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol. Research has shown that garlic may be able to improve our metabolism of iron. The ferroportin, found in garlic, is a protein that moves the iron stored up in our cells. It runs across the cell membrane, and provides a bridge for iron to cross over and leave the cell, keeping iron in circulation as it is needed. But overall the antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic are perhaps its most notable feature. Garlic is very beneficial in controlling infection by bacteria and viruses and also infection from other microbes including yeasts, fungi and worms.

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